Crazy milestone. I’ve logged into myfitnesspal.com (MFP) every single day for the past 1,000 days. I’m not sure if that’s dedication or insanity but there it is. Here are some things I’ve learned through my experiences the past 1,000 days.
Let’s first paint the picture: Rewind to June 2012. I had previously tried tracking calories using SparkPeople.com with little success. I would use it, not use it, use it, not use it – you get the idea. I was visiting my sisters in Virginia when my youngest sister suggested myfitnesspal.com. She said her (now) husband started her on it and liked the
usability. At first I was a bit skeptical since I already had SparkPeople but figured I’d check it out. Loved it. When I found out there was a streak counter for days logged in, one thought came to mind “oh it’s on like Donkey Kong!”. I’ve logged in every day since. When I first started using the app I wasn’t very active. I hated working out and just figured if I ate less I didn’t have to exercise. I was a busy mom, chasing my kids, playing with them in the yard etc. and figured that was enough. Looking at my diet now, I ate pretty poorly back then. Lots of pizza, convenience foods (think EZ cheese, pop tarts, mountains of girl scout cookies). Whatever was easy and whatever I wanted.
I started using the app to just see what I was eating. From there I started slowly reducing my calories and did my best to stay within about 1,200 daily since that was what MFP recommended for my height. It wasn’t easy and I often had “cheat” days where I didn’t feel like logging all my food. But I did continue to log in. Every. Single. Day.
January or February of 2013 I realized I needed to start exercising. I realized I liked the MFP app so much I might as well see if there is anything that rewards consistent exercise the same way. Enter Nexercise. I don’t use this app anymore but I can’t tell you how big of a part this app played in my journey to health and wellness. You get virtual badges for doing different kinds of activities or more minutes of an activity. It counts everything from house cleaning to badminton to swimming. It even listed specific brand exercises like those found on BeachBody.com. There were weekly points where you could compete with strangers or your friends. And boy did I! I told myself that it didn’t matter what exercise I did, I needed to do something every day. And I did. And I discovered a whole world of new activities I love. I jumped rope, I logged seemingly endless hours on the elliptical, I played baseball with my kids, I did yoga, I walked (I walked a lot), I biked, I took fitness classes for the first time in my life. I was so excited to see my Nexercise steak continue and rack up the points. I also noticed that MFP gave you extra calories for eating with all of this activity. Now we’re talking. 🙂 I started logging my food more consistently.
Enter (my now very best running) friend. I saw on her Facebook page that she had registered for a night time glowed up 5k. It looked super cool. She invited me to come. My thought was I could never run for 3 miles. She was super encouraging and said it was okay to walk and some of the others who were going would be walking too. I remember this vividly: I was at a hotel in Wichita Kansas for work and wanted to see if I could do it. I got on the hotel treadmill and huffed and puffed for about 46 minutes. I walked, I jogged, walked some more, cursed a little. But I survived 3 miles. I registered for the race that night. I kept up with my other activities but didn’t really train for the 5k. When race day came around I some how ran (okay, slowly jogged) the whole darn thing. I was on such a high, within the week I was asking her when we could do another race. I was hooked. I registered for a 10K, but knew I needed a training plan. I completed every day of the couch to 10K program sometime during that Summer in preparation for the race at the end of August. In total I ran 9 races in 2013, including my first half marathon.
I kept up with running and eventually didn’t need Nexercise anymore to motivate me to exercise. I continued to log everything into MyFitnessPal. I took a couple months off in Winter for a surgery but jumped back in with my first race of 2014 in March. Eventually after much research I realized I need to start strength training. I discovered that endless hours of cardio are not going to get me to where I want to be in regards to my physique, strength and endurance goals. In May I began the ChaLean Extreme program from BeachBody but abandoned it after about a month when I joined LA Fitness and started working with a trainer instead. My sister also helped me get started with eating IIFYM-style after I saw her using it with great results. Increased calories to support my fitness was great. Additional muscles and strength were also an added bonus. I kept running. I racked up a total of 467 miles in 2014 and finished 20 races. I continued to log into MFP.
MFP has changed my life in a gradual yet wonderful way. I wake up, I shut off the alarm, I log in. Every day. I’m the most in shape I’ve ever been in my life. I love trying new things and being active with my family. I have discovered a love of racing and am excited to start training for my first marathon in June.
And that, my friends, is how I’ve spent my first 1,000 days on MyFitnessPal.